Ginger Lily

(Also known as Wild Ginger)

Hedychium gardnerianum

Family: Zingiberaceae

Type of weed:

Flowering Months: , , , , ,

Description

Ginger Lily is a large herb to 2.5 m high.

It has large, glossy yellow greenish leaves, alternately arranged along the stems with a long base that sheaths the stems.

Mostly bright yellow, showy flowers are on large spike like clusters (15–45 cm long and 15–20 cm wide) at the tips of the stems, summer to autumn.

The fruit is a thin walled capsule with three compartments. It splits open when mature to reveal bright orange inner surfaces. The relatively large brown seeds have a bright red fleshy covering.

Dispersal

Ginger Lily reproduces by seed and also via its creeping underground stems (rhizomes).

The seeds are dispersed by birds and other animals that are attracted to their bright colours. Seeds and segments of its creeping underground stems are also spread by water and in dumped garden waste.

Impact on bushland

Ginger Lily grows densely, smothering and displacing native groundcover vegetation. These dense stands can prevent the regeneration of trees and shrubs, significantly modify the habitat available to native animals, and eventually threaten the integrity of native ecosystems.

Distribution

. Up to Lawson, in moist, shady habitats.

Alternative planting

Native plants

  • Crimson Bottlebrush (Callistemon citrons)
  • Grevilleas (Grevillea spp.)
  • Tick Bush (Kunzea ambigua)

Council provides a tool, on its Mountain Landscapes website, to help you choose native alternative plantings. Choose your village, soil, vegetation community and the purpose of your planting, and the tool will give you suggestions.

There are native nurseries in several Blue Mountains villages, including Glenbrook, Lawson and Katoomba. Please also ask at your favourite local nursery.

Control

Because the berries are spread by birds, treat plants before they fruit.

Remove the thick fleshy rhizome with a knife or mattock. Follow up is needed because the plant resprouts when disturbed.

Alternatively, cut an indentation in the rhizome and fill with herbicide.

For more info

For key points on these techniques: